When I was a child I had long plaits.
In my teens I dried my hair naturally. To rid the hair of excess moisture, I would rub it with a towel, then shake my head back and forth and side to side, rather like a horse tossing its mane. If I tried that now I would probably fall over. These days, I usually use a hairdryer, simply because I dislike going to bed with wet hair.
I was taught to make sure that my hair was ‘squeaky clean’ by pulling my fingers gently down a strand of hair. That should make a squeaky noise, to indicate that all the shampoo had been washed out. A final rinse with lemon juice or vinegar would enhance/preserve/encourage blonde highlights.
Now, it’s shampoo followed by conditioner but even that is not simple. Is your hair fine, dry, oily, lifeless, damaged, frizzy, dyed? Do you have an itchy scalp and/or dandruff? Should your shampoo be paraben/sulphate/silicone-free? Do you require a guarantee of Beauty Without Cruelty (BWOC) or vegan? Do you want extra shine, firm control, thickening volume, extra hydration, nourishment? (Does hair need to be fed these days?Having established your hair’s requirements, the perfume must be decided. If you want to smell like flowers, there’s a shampoo for you – rosemary, lavender, geranium, rose, mint.
Tropical island longing? Coconut or banana, mango or papaya.
One of your five a day? Cucumber, raspberry, apple, grapefruit, orange, lemon, strawberry, blueberry, melon, cranberry, apricot or blackberry. (There’s even one for dogs called tutti frutti.)
Nuts? Almond or macadamia. Seaweed, honey, including Manuka honey, tea tree and aloe vera are other alternatives.
In addition to this the customer must decide between volumising or taming shampoos, and some will add oil while others claim to control it, whether it’s ‘fly-away’ or thick and curly.
I fell to wondering about the expression ‘squeaky-clean’ last night as I stepped into the shower. One of the definitions I discovered this morning said, ‘beyond reproach, without vice’.
How could my hair be reproached just for growing? ‘You’re growing too fast/slowly. You’re becoming too thin and brittle. Why are you so grey? What happened to the bounce and body you used to have? You must do better.’
What vices might it display? ‘Are you trying to make me look old? Look how you’ve clogged the plughole/drain/outlet. Why must you shed all over the house? What have you done to my hairbrush? It looks like an untidy little cobweb.’
Imagine my hair’s response. ‘Look at the way you’ve treated me – all those nasty, smelly chemicals. How would you like it if someone blasted you with such hot air you could hardly breathe? Be real, woman, you’re (getting) old.’
Is your hair your crowning glory? Mine is just a mess most of the time, much like the rest of me ;-)
A fun post to read. The photos were lovely, and I especially enjoyed the one of you as an 11 year old. Wearing a blonde wig once, was as far as I went. I wore my hair in my teens and way past my twenties fairly long, and put in a bun or a ponytail.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Denise. My husband bought me a wig once for a birthday. It was fun for a while.Delete
I love this post, which just goes to show you never know what will grab readers :) Like you, I've had both long and short hair over my lifetime, always preferring long. When the pandemic hit, it was an opportunity to grow it out from chin-length and I've kept it long ever since, grey streaks and all (my hair is light brown but used to have blonde highlights). I keep it that way partly for convenience -- if I have to go to Emergency with my mother in the middle of the night, it's easy to look at least presentable in a ponytail. But my real, deep down reason is that I love having long hair; I only feel completely "me" when it's long. And whenever I am tempted to give in to unspoken disapproval from society at large, I remember one of my aunts who had long hair as long as I knew her. She always wore it up and it suited her completely. I hope by wearing mine long, I help to change the societal belief that older women "should" cut their hair short at a certain age.ReplyDelete
Those are wonderful photos! It looks like you had fine but thick hair, which is the same as what I have. Do you find it has changed as you've gotten older? Mine has become wavy in the last few years, and drier, so I've had to try some of the wide variety of conditioners you describe so well. I'm glad to hear of another lady of a certain age who is willing to go for long hair once more.
Yes, my hair was thick and fine. Now it's just fine! It used to be as straight as a yard of pump water but has developed a sort of waviness and dryness, like yours. I didn't know we ladies of a certain age were 'expected' to have short hair - long is so much easier and quicker to deal with.Delete
Shampoo and conditioner options are absurd now. I now only use a 2 in 1. We had lunch out with a niece and her twin daughters earlier this week. We decided on a pasta place that looked nice. The menu was extensive but staff explained as they can only get one chef during the day, there was only a choice of three pastas; spicy, not so spicy and no spice at all. That just made lunch so easy for everyone.ReplyDelete
There's far too much choice in everything. Simplicity is so much better.Delete
Even after all these years, I am still envious of those who can grow long hair. mine is just a few inches past my collar and there it stops. But it is still the same thickness it has always been, still fine, still wavy and a bit frizzy. I have found that a cider vinegar rinse helps to tame the frizzy part. I always wash my hair in the mornings so it can be left to dry naturally, if I used a hair dryer it would look like a furze bush! Another trick I have learned is to comb it all forward over my face while bending over the bathroom sink/basin and keep combing for a minute or two, this removes all the loose hairs which can then be scooped into the bin, instead of washing out in the shower and clogging the drain. Letting hair wash down drains is the WORST thing you can do to your poor drains. also I only ever use a comb, never a brush. I'm letting it grey naturally and find I still have a fair amount of natural colour left even at 70.ReplyDelete
PS, the vinegar rinse is with cold water, to seal the hair cuticle for maximum shine, the vinegar neutralises any ph from the shampoo.ReplyDelete
Your hair sounds like my late mother-in-law's hair. She longed to have long hair, but it would only grow outwards. It was thick and curly and always looked just right.Delete
I have mousy hair - blonde and it's my own colour, never had any dye - highlights yes but thankful I was not panicking during lockdown about my roots. I too have had both long hair and short hair and love short hair at the moment. My hair grows very fast and I have it trimmed every month. My hairdresser always comments how quickly it grows. I think I have some silver/grey streaks appearing but like you I will embrace this x My hair style now is what I was when I was 9!ReplyDelete
Goodness, every month! My hairdresser suggests every six weeks but I usually leave it much longer, especially now i'm growing it again!Delete
Sadly - I've always been short of the stuff ... a missing gene I guess ... so very short, not a lot of it - no messing with what's left. So ... not sure what's next - hope it doesn't all decide to wave goodbye!! Cheers HilaryReplyDelete
Is anyone ever satisfied with their hair? I think not, which is why there's such a market for hair treatments. Wearing a hat and protecting it from the elements seems eminently sensible.ReplyDelete
You made me dizzy with your hair treatments and products ! With me it was very simple. I had the same haircut most of my life except in childhood where I had braids. As I have elephant ears which have to be covered and a forehead like Einstein, I needed bangs. I was blond but a dull ash blond, which I lightened up with Bel Color n°0, with that I stayed until my 60th when I changed to Bel Color n°11 in case I had grey hair. And that's it. I go all 6 weeks (my hairs are very punctual) to the hairdresser for a cut. Blond hair suited you very well, and you were a cute little girl. I was rather ugly with my enormous ears ! That changed when I became a Teenager and suddenly the boys had too much interest in me, to my taste.ReplyDelete
The anonymous is me and I don't know why Google insists that I remain "Anonymous" !ReplyDelete
I think it's wise to stick with what you're comfortable with, Ingrid. Elephant ears, indeed . . . I'm sure you're the only one who thinks so!ReplyDelete
I used to have very long hair when I was little and it was always a bit lank and thin. My mum took me to the hairdresser and I had a short bod cut, I loved it but my dad didn't talk to my my for the rest of the day! I agree too many chemicals and blow drying have not been kind to my hair but we continue to do it xxReplyDelete
Ha ha! My mother had her hair cut short in the 1920s , quite ahead of her time, and her father refused to speak to her for ages.Delete
You look very sweet with your plaits. Goodness, what a lot of animals you have! PamReplyDelete
Yes, we've always had animals. Currently, we have four - two Ocicats, a chocolate Labrador and a yellow Labrador puppy. That number is not set to increase!Delete
My hair has always been long, apart from a time in my teens when my mum insisted it would look good short - something she still believes to this day. I looked ridiculous lol.ReplyDelete
Now, my hair is often dry and I have yet to find the right products to help fix it!
Exactly! I never let my mum near my hair again lol!ReplyDelete